Today the Commission has published two important new documents on the evolution of EU climate policy, a White Paper on the 2030 Framework and a legislative proposal to reform the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. While important advances have been made, there is still important work to be done as Europe prepares its negotiating line for the international climate change agreement in Paris in 2015.
The 2030 White Paper proposes Europe cuts its domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 40% in 2030 relative to 1990 levels, exceeding the 35-40% net reductions that many were expecting to be published. Still, a 40% target in 2030 remains at the very low end of what different effort-sharing models consider an equitable contribution from Europe, pushing the onus of keeping temperature rise below 2 degrees onto other, especially developing countries. As it proceeds with international negotiations, the EU could elect to build on this domestic offer with an enhanced target that might include international offsets.
**Damien Morris, Head of Policy at Sandbag** says:
_“It is encouraging to see the Commission support the 40% domestic target in keeping with the 2050 Roadmap, but more work is needed to ensure Europe actually stays on the cost-effective trajectory to meet its 2050 goals. Unless removed, the surplus allowances in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme threaten to drag Europe dangerously off course to reach this target. As the UK government has proposed, the EU should now prepare to build on this minimum unilateral offer as part of the international negotiations toward an ambitious climate deal in 2015. Furthermore, with 2030 still sixteen years away, there is a clear need to schedule an interim review of this target by 2025 at the latest to duly account for developments in climate science and international effort between now and then.”_
**Emissions Trading Reform Proposals**
Today also saw the Commission release a legislative proposal to amend the Emissions Trading Directive in response to the consultation on structural reform of the carbon market. The Commission has chosen to forego the six options discussed in the annual report, including options to cancel allowances or increase the ambition of the 2020 greenhouse gas target. Instead the Commission has proposed introducing introduce a new “market stability reserve” to the EU ETS from 2021.
_“We welcome the Commission’s proposals to increase the pace of emission reductions in the EU ETS. This will not only help to deliver the 2030 target but will also better align the scheme with Europe’s 2050 goals; that said, the Commission has missed an important opportunity to remove the glut of carbon allowances in the system right now. The market stability reserve proposed to address these will not kick in until 2021 and will only remove these on a temporary basis. A measure to cancel carbon allowances from auction is still urgently required to get these out of the system and to prevent carbon lock-in over the 2020’s.”_
 [EU Commission 2030 climate and energy goals](http://ec.europa.eu/clima/news/articles/news_2014012202_en.htm “”)
 A recent [study by Ecofys](http://www.ecofys.com/en/blog/what-is-a-fair-contribution-of-the-eu-to-the-2c-limit “”) finds Europe’s fair share of international effort requires a 2030 target anywhere between 39% and 79% with a median value of 49%. [Sandbag’s effort sharing approach](http://www.sandbag.org.uk/site_media/pdfs/reports/The_Sovereign_Emissions_Rights_Framework_1.pdf “”) indicates a 65% target is appropriate.